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“Farewell – and thanks for all the inspiration”


In her final column, Sophie Cornish reveals the three crucial things she’s learned from you

This year has passed so quickly and now this is my final column. It’s been a fascinating ride, meeting Stylist’s ambitious readers and exchanging knowledge and ideas along the way. I haven’t put away my laptop quite yet: I’ll be joining you at future Stylist Network events (I can’t wait) as well as contributing with business advice in future issues.

It’s sad to say goodbye but I’m at such an exciting stage in notonthehighstreet.com’s life that I have my hands full. The business has doubled in size since I first joined Stylist (keep an eye out for our new TV ad which is due to air on 28 May – I shall be wearing out the replay button).

My business partner Holly Tucker and I have just signed off the final proofs of our book, too. Six years ago we were maxing out our credit cards, now we’ve written down all the lessons we had to learn the hard way, from finance, marketing and PR to raising a young family at the same time. Build A Business From Your Kitchen Table (Simon & Schuster, out 5 July) is as much our personal story as it is a guide to getting started. We honestly believe that anyone should be able to achieve a great working life on their own terms – that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.

I do so hope that my columns have helped you reach for your dreams. You’ve certainly helped me to continue to reach for mine. I’ve learned three new things from you:

  1. Success comes in many forms. I’ve heard so many remarkable and unexpected stories from so many impressive people.
  2. For an entrepreneur, there’s no such thing as work-life balance, but we can make our peace with that, because we love them both all of the time.
  3. An answer to the question you ask me most often: how do you know when to take the leap? You’ve written the business plan, tested the market and have the hunger to take your idea all the way. So when is the right time to give your business its wings? Since meeting so many talented, inspiring readers over the past year – whether online or in person – I’m more certain than ever that the time for you is right now.

While there’s still so much ground to be gained for working women – affordable childcare, a fully closed pay gap and more women in senior management positions – there’s also huge opportunity. With our confidence and inventiveness, we can buck the economic trend and start our own businesses or make a real difference to the ones we work for. So go for it, enjoy every moment, and please let me know how you’re doing.”

Sophie is MD and co-founder of notonthehighstreet.com. Email sophie.cornish@stylist.co.uk or tweet @SophieVCornish



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